95

Ohh goodness! Verdant’s chai blends are soo amazing! Such quality ingredients, both the base tea and the spices. It is apparent as soon as you open the pouch, both the aroma and the sight, heavenly and beautiful. And the taste oh my! So sweet, smooth, clean and balanced. The words elegant and fine keep coming to mind.

I don’t know why I was so hesitant about ordering this one late last winter, probably because I was burnt out on Teavana’s chai many of which are gritty, require sugar or honey and are just have none of the traits above.

I told myself I’d order some in the fall but with the special Zhu Rong Chai, I had to compare and David graciously allowed me to order by the half ounce so I could try lots of tea on my budget. An old friend of mine just placed her first order and got quite a bit of the Chocolate Phoenix Chai so we’ll be swapping in the near future, I’m relieved because while I will be placing an order soon it will be for three of my favorite teas that are low stock.

So back to this, it tastes a bit lighter bodied and sweeter than the Zhu Rong Chai which I prefered with milk, this one is definitely better straight. I love anything made from Laoshan black and green and this newest harvest is fantastic. I brewed this short which works wonderfully for my tastes, now off to reinfuse, next time I’ll play with longer infusions.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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